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Thread: Photoshop Layer Masks tutorial

  1. #1
    Member MichaelToye's Avatar
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    Photoshop Layer Masks tutorial

    I wrote this with Monochrom files in mind, where a single image wide process to an already monochrome image is not optimal. I use layer masks. It's not cheating, it just allows me to process sky separately from concrete or people.

    Click through to my blog to view the article.

    Thanks, Michael.
    __________________________________
    Leica M Monochrom, 35mm Summicron-M f/2 Asph
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  2. #2
    Senior Member MaxKi▀ler's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop Layer Masks tutorial

    Why so complicated? Just use a curves adjustment layer with a layer mask. All you need to do is use a brush to mask areas et voila. Takes about a minute to get the same or a IMO "better" result...

    Cheers
    http://maxkissler.com/
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  3. #3
    Member MichaelToye's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop Layer Masks tutorial

    Thanks for commenting Max, but layers can be created in any number of ways, including filter packs.

    If you limit yourself to curves, which are not always the best results for a target 'look', you are limiting yourself.

    Michael
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    Leica M Monochrom, 35mm Summicron-M f/2 Asph

  4. #4
    Senior Member MaxKi▀ler's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop Layer Masks tutorial

    I'm not limiting myself in any way, I'm just suggesting another way that might make your life easier whilst yielding better results.

  5. #5
    Member MichaelToye's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop Layer Masks tutorial

    Thanks Max and whilst curves perform an efficient and qualitative function, i often look for results beyond the ability of the curve.

    Best tool for the job and curves are the best for a good number of jobs. Just not all of them, including my examples.

    Michael
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    Leica M Monochrom, 35mm Summicron-M f/2 Asph

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    Re: Photoshop Layer Masks tutorial

    Time to work on shooting skills way more then on technical pp for pictures of this level.
    I personally wouldn't have put a microsecond of pp of anykind on 99.999% of pics I see posted on the net.

    A subforum about composition, timing, positioning, controling a scene, anticipation... All this is much more important then curves and levels.
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  7. #7
    Member MichaelToye's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop Layer Masks tutorial

    Quote Originally Posted by NB23 View Post
    Time to work on shooting skills way more then on technical pp for pictures of this level.
    I personally wouldn't have put a microsecond of pp of anykind on 99.999% of pics I see posted on the net.

    A subforum about composition, timing, positioning, controling a scene, anticipation... All this is much more important then curves and levels.
    Indeed, but this is the Image Processing forum, and I did pick the image for the tutorial rather than one of my published images.
    Michael
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  8. #8
    Member NotXorc's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop Layer Masks tutorial

    Michael, I saw the short tutorial on your site via RSS. Kudos on providing insight into your workflow and how you think your way through image processing. Having played with a couple of MM files, I appreciate how much thought is necessary to achieve the tones you want in a file. Cheers and thanks for sharing!
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  9. #9
    Senior Member MaxKi▀ler's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop Layer Masks tutorial

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelToye View Post
    Thanks Max and whilst curves perform an efficient and qualitative function, i often look for results beyond the ability of the curve.

    Best tool for the job and curves are the best for a good number of jobs. Just not all of them, including my examples.

    Michael
    I'm sorry but you abviously have no idea how curves work. You know, I've learned a lot on these forums so I'm only trying to give something back and this is my approach. I took your original web image, used curves as adjustment layers and tried to process it the way you like it.

    I hope you don't mind. But isn't this why you came here in the first place? To have a lively discussion instead of just redirecting traffic to your blog.

    Save and open in PS. Instead of fiddling with selections, processing the image this way takes about one minute.
    Attachment 79029

  10. #10
    Member MichaelToye's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop Layer Masks tutorial

    Max, you clearly don't get the hint do you. This was a layer masking tutorial. I have been using Photoshop for 10+ years and know how to use the curve tool.

    How I processed those layers is inconsequential. The tutorial is about simple and accurate layer masking from selections.

    Aside from this, your result is hurried, lacks texture and, for my own needs from this image, inferior. Our own likes are subjective and you are entitled to prefer a different end result of course. Again, aside from look, this technique would not print well. Brush masking can show up a major edit in a quality print.

    Mods, if my tutorial on layer masking is not up to scratch, I'll request this thread be removed. It is of no consequence to me, I simply like to 'give back' too.

    I can handle criticism fine, but why critique as aspect which is tangential from the tutorial?

    So, Max, please tell me my layer masking is not helpful or inaccurate, otherwise STFU.
    Michael
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  11. #11
    Senior Member MaxKi▀ler's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop Layer Masks tutorial

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelToye View Post
    Max, you clearly don't get the hint do you. This was a layer masking tutorial. I have been using Photoshop for 10+ years and know how to use the curve tool.

    How I processed those layers is inconsequential. The tutorial is about simple and accurate layer masking from selections.

    Aside from this, your result is hurried, lacks texture and, for my own needs from this image, inferior. Our own likes are subjective and you are entitled to prefer a different end result of course. Again, aside from look, this technique would not print well. Brush masking can show up a major edit in a quality print.

    Mods, if my tutorial on layer masking is not up to scratch, I'll request this thread be removed. It is of no consequence to me, I simply like to 'give back' too.

    I can handle criticism fine, but why critique as aspect which is tangential from the tutorial?

    So, Max, please tell me my layer masking is not helpful or inaccurate, otherwise STFU.
    Michael
    No, I am very sorry but I did not get the hint. How am I supposed to know that you are working with PS 10+ years? Maybe I was a bit harsh, but as I have said before, this was supposed to be of help to you. So I apologise if I have hurt your feelings. I personally don't see much of difference in the end result. But that must be because I have yet to learn "to artistically see" better.

    As you have requested I'm out of here.


    Edit: Though I would have enjoyed an explanation of why my attempt is so inferior...

  12. #12
    Member MichaelToye's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop Layer Masks tutorial

    I must also apologise Max - I am not well today and was too quick to respond and too harsh without due thought.

    Stepping away from the tutorial for a second I simply wanted to get across that, though the Curve tool is very powerful and I use it frequently, some work will exceed the functions of a curve tool and a separate layer is the best option.

    You didn't have a large image to work with and your brush work could have been more 'accurate' with more time but, for a strong edit, you will see halos in print.

    I actually use curves with selection based masks for the power of the curve, as you suggested, but with the accuracy of a selection mask.

    I do realise you're trying to assist, and with a valid point, just not valid for the tutorial subject.

    Thanks
    Michael
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    Leica M Monochrom, 35mm Summicron-M f/2 Asph
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  13. #13
    Senior Member RVB's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop Layer Masks tutorial

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelToye View Post
    I must also apologise Max - I am not well today and was too quick to respond and too harsh without due thought.

    Stepping away from the tutorial for a second I simply wanted to get across that, though the Curve tool is very powerful and I use it frequently, some work will exceed the functions of a curve tool and a separate layer is the best option.

    You didn't have a large image to work with and your brush work could have been more 'accurate' with more time but, for a strong edit, you will see halos in print.

    I actually use curves with selection based masks for the power of the curve, as you suggested, but with the accuracy of a selection mask.

    I do realise you're trying to assist, and with a valid point, just not valid for the tutorial subject.

    Thanks
    Michael
    Valid points Michael,sometime's you need the accuracy of a mask created with the pen tool...

  14. #14
    Senior Member MaxKi▀ler's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop Layer Masks tutorial

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelToye View Post
    I must also apologise Max - I am not well today and was too quick to respond and too harsh without due thought.

    Stepping away from the tutorial for a second I simply wanted to get across that, though the Curve tool is very powerful and I use it frequently, some work will exceed the functions of a curve tool and a separate layer is the best option.

    You didn't have a large image to work with and your brush work could have been more 'accurate' with more time but, for a strong edit, you will see halos in print.

    I actually use curves with selection based masks for the power of the curve, as you suggested, but with the accuracy of a selection mask.

    I do realise you're trying to assist, and with a valid point, just not valid for the tutorial subject.

    Thanks
    Michael
    Thanks for the clarification. It's alright, I guess I was really rude. Perhaps it's an aspect of written comunication that it rapidly sounds more teasing then it was intended. So please accept my apology. I know you've put some effort into writing the tutorial.

    Have a good night (Now I'm really out of here).

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